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An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon in the East Indies Together with an Account of the Detaining in Captivity the Author and Divers other Englishmen Now Living There, and of the Author's Miraculous Escape   By: (1641-1720)

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AN Historical Relation Of the Island CEYLON, IN THE EAST INDIES:


With an ACCOUNT of the Detaining in Captivity the AUTHOR and divers other Englishmen now Living there, and of the AUTHOR'S Miraculous ESCAPE.

Illustrated with Figures, and a Map of the ISLAND.

By ROBERT KNOX, a Captive there near Twenty Years.


Printed by Richard Chiswell, Printer to the ROYAL SOCIETY, at the Rose and Crown in St. Paul's Church yard, 1681.

At the Court of Committees for the East India Company the 10th of August, 1681.

We Esteem Captain Knox a Man of Truth and Integrity, and that his Relations and Accounts of the Island of Ceylon (which some of us have lately Perused in Manuscripts) are worthy of Credit, and therefore encouraged him to make the same Publick.

Robert Blackbourne, Secretary. By Order of the said Court.

August 8. 1681.

Mr. Chiswell,

I Perused Capt. Knox's Description of the Isle of Ceylon, which seems to be Written with great Truth and Integrity; and the Subject being new, containing an Account of a People and Countrey little known to us; I conceive it may give great Satisfaction to the Curious, and may be well worth your Publishing.

Chr. Wren.


Right Worshipful

The GOVERNOR, the DEPUTY GOVERNOR, and Four and Twenty Committees of the Honorable the EAST INDIA Company, Viz.

Sir Josiah Child Baronet, Governor. Thomas Papilion Esq; Deputy.

The Right Honorable George Earl of Berkley, Sir Joseph Ashe Baronet, Sir Samuel Barnardiston Baronet, Mr. Christopher Boone, Mr. Thomas Canham, Colonel John Clerke, Mr. John Cudworth, John Dubois Esquire, Sir James Edwards Knight, and Alderman, Richard Hutchinson Esquire, Mr. Joseph Herne, Mr. William Hedges, Sir John Lawrence Knight, and Alderman, Mr. Nathaniel Letton, Sir John Moore Knight, and Alderman, Samuel Moyer Esquire, Mr. John Morden, Mr. John Paige, Edward Rudge Esquire, Mr. Jeremy Sambrooke, Mr. William Sedgwick, Robert Thomson Esquire, Samuel Thomson Esquire, James Ward Esquire.

Right Worshipful,

What I formerly Presented you in Writing, having in pursuance of your Commands now somewhat dressd by the help of the Printer and Graver, I a second time humbly tender to you. 'Tis I confess at best too mean a Return for your great Kindness to me. Yet I hope you will not deny it a favourable Acceptance, since 'tis the whole Return I made from the Indies after Twenty years stay there; having brought home nothing else but

(who is also wholly at your Service and Command)

London 1st. of August, 1681.



How much of the present Knowledge of the Parts of the World is owing to late Discoveries, may be judged by comparing the Modern with the Ancient's Accounts thereof; though possibly many such Histories may have been written in former Ages, yet few have scaped the Injury of Time, so as to be handed safe to us. 'Twas many Ages possibly before Writing was known, then known to a few, and made use of by fewer, and fewest employed it to this purpose. Add to this, that such as were written, remain'd for the most part Imprison'd in the Cells of some Library or Study, accessible to a small number of Mankind, and regarded by a less, which after perished with the Place or the Decay of their own Substance. This we may judge from the loss of those many Writings mentioned by Pliny and other of the Ancients. And we had yet found fewer, if the Art of Printing, first Invented about 240 years since, had not secured most that lasted to that time... Continue reading book >>

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